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'Safe Streets Bill' Would Help Reduce Speed Limits

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Not taken in LA, but kinda looks like it, no? Random Fact: By law, you can only have one rooster per househould. | Photo by sbblackley via Flickr
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For nearly a year, livable streets activists have been at arms over the actions of Los Angeles officials raising speed limits in the Valley. The city is required by state law to evaluate street speeds and adjust the limits if they want police to be able to use radar guns. Basically, if the study of a street finds that 85% of drivers are speeding, the city must raise the limit. The problem is, the law doesn't consider the public safety of pedestrians or those who live on or near the street.

Eventually, Los Angeles will soon evaluate all streets in the city which will likely result in increased speed limits citywide. But some councilmembers have discussed trying to push the state into introducing a law that would give them more flexibility.

Fortunately, that's already in the works--it has been since the end of February. State Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, who represents parts of the Valley and over the hill into Silver Lake area, wrote AB 766, or the "Safe Streets Bill," which "would give greater power to local jurisdictions to decide what is safe," his spokesman wrote in an e-mail.

Krekorian, whose field office used to be in Glendale, found that the city experienced 82 pedestrian related traffic collisions and four pedestrian fatalities in 2008 alone. Nearly 20% of the traffic fatalities in California are pedestrians and excessive speeding was found as one of the major contributing factors, according to a data from 2001.

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The bill is first scheduled to be heard on April 20th in the Assembly's Transportation Committee.